Supreme Court reinstates death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

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By Carina Murphy

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The US supreme court has reinstated the convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence, Reuters reports.

Tsarnaev and his now-deceased brother Tamerlan were responsible for planting pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the race in April 2013. The explosions killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

After being taken into custody, Tsarnaev was convicted and sentenced to death in the summer of 2015. However, in 2020, a lower court ruling overturned his death sentence while upholding his guilty conviction.

Today, March 4, supreme court judges sided with the justice department's challenge to the 2020 ruling, once against overturning the bomber's sentence and reinstating his death penalty in a 6-3 decision.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court: "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes. The Sixth Amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He received one."

Justice Thomas was among the six conservative justices to vote in favor of reinstating Tsarnaev's death penalty, while all three liberal justices dissented.

One of the dissenting judges - Judge Rogeriee Thompson - wrote for the panel that the case brought into question "a core premise of our criminal justice system," per The Independent.

"Just to be crystal clear, Dzhokhar will remain confined to prison for the rest of his life, with the only question remaining being whether the government will end his life by executing him," she said.

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Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Meanwhile, Tsarnaev's lawyers argued that the now-28-year-old played a secondary role in the attack and that his brother was the "authority figure" who radicalized him with "violent Islamic extremist beliefs".

Tsarnaev was just 19 at the time of the bombing, while Tamerlan was 26. Following the detonation of the bombs, the two brothers became the subject of an unprecedented manhunt during which they shot and killed MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

In a later gunfight with officers, Tamerlan was killed while his younger brother escaped. However, the following day he was found hiding and seriously wounded by police who took him into custody.

Alongside the hundreds of injured victims, the bombing claimed the life of Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu, restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, and eight-year-old Martin Richard.

Featured Image Credit: FBI Photo / Alamy

Supreme Court reinstates death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

The US supreme court has reinstated the convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence, Reuters reports.

Tsarnaev and his now-deceased brother Tamerlan were responsible for planting pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the race in April 2013. The explosions killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

After being taken into custody, Tsarnaev was convicted and sentenced to death in the summer of 2015. However, in 2020, a lower court ruling overturned his death sentence while upholding his guilty conviction.

Today, March 4, supreme court judges sided with the justice department's challenge to the 2020 ruling, once against overturning the bomber's sentence and reinstating his death penalty in a 6-3 decision.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court: "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes. The Sixth Amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He received one."

Justice Thomas was among the six conservative justices to vote in favor of reinstating Tsarnaev's death penalty, while all three liberal justices dissented.

One of the dissenting judges - Judge Rogeriee Thompson - wrote for the panel that the case brought into question "a core premise of our criminal justice system," per The Independent.

"Just to be crystal clear, Dzhokhar will remain confined to prison for the rest of his life, with the only question remaining being whether the government will end his life by executing him," she said.

wp-image-1263146953
Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Meanwhile, Tsarnaev's lawyers argued that the now-28-year-old played a secondary role in the attack and that his brother was the "authority figure" who radicalized him with "violent Islamic extremist beliefs".

Tsarnaev was just 19 at the time of the bombing, while Tamerlan was 26. Following the detonation of the bombs, the two brothers became the subject of an unprecedented manhunt during which they shot and killed MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

In a later gunfight with officers, Tamerlan was killed while his younger brother escaped. However, the following day he was found hiding and seriously wounded by police who took him into custody.

Alongside the hundreds of injured victims, the bombing claimed the life of Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu, restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, and eight-year-old Martin Richard.

Featured Image Credit: FBI Photo / Alamy